09/01/12 8:16 PM ET
Brewers play it safe with Rogers, cut season short
By Adam McCalvy / MLB.com
Brewers' Gamel begins hitting off tee
MILWAUKEE -- Mat Gamel took a big step forward in his rehabilitation from a right knee injury when he began hitting off a tee on Friday.It marked Gamel's first chance to hit since he tore his ACL chasing a ball in foul ground at San Diego on May 1. If his rehab continues at its current positive pace, there is a chance Gamel could play in the Arizona Fall League. The Brewers would need an exemption for Gamel, who owns Major League service in excess of the usual AFL standards. And he would have to be healthy enough to play. "If I can't play, I can't play," he said. "I don't want to rush myself back to play in those games and get hurt because I wasn't ready. But if I'm ready, I definitely want to get at-bats. I just don't want to force it." If he is not quite ready in time for the AFL, which begins its 20th season on Oct 9, then Gamel would consider playing in the Dominican Republic for the second consecutive winter. As to what position he will play, that remains in question. The Brewers moved Corey Hart to first base in the wake of Gamel's injury with great success, and Hart may remain there next season. "Wherever they want me to play, wherever they tell me to play, is where I'll play," he said. "Whatever helps my chances to be on this club next year."
Melvin still irked by September callups
MILWAUKEE -- For veteran Brewers GM Doug Melvin, Sept. 1 is the anti-Christmas -- his least favorite day of the year.Melvin has long argued against the current system of September callups, which he says creates imbalance during the most important stretch of the season. After playing most of the season with a limit of 25 active players, teams are free beginning Sept. 1 to promote any member of the 40-man roster to the Majors. Why does it make sense, Melvin has argued for years, to play five months of games under one set of rules, then change them when the games count most in September? Beyond that, callups can disrupt clubhouse chemistry and create the potential for parades of relievers extending long games. "It bothers me," Melvin said. In deference to Triple-A Nashville, which plays through Monday, the Brewers will wait until Tuesday to make their callups. So they had 25 players in uniform on Saturday against a 30-man Pirates squad. Melvin has tried to convince fellow general managers to pursue changes to the rules, and said he has gained traction in recent years. Melvin's best proposal calls for allowing teams as many callups as they wish, but requiring them to designate a certain number of active players each day. Changes to the September callup procedure were discussed briefly during negotiation of the most recent Collective Bargaining Agreement, said Craig Counsell, who played a key role in those talks as a member of the Major League Baseball Players Association's executive board. "I remember that it was discussed, but then it went away," said Counsell, who took a job in the Brewers' front office last winter. "It was just not an issue they wanted to spend time on because there was not a lot of common ground." Counsell declined to take a stance on the matter.
No clubs expressed interest in right-hander Shaun Marcum before Friday's deadline for contending teams to trade for players and have them eligible for postseason play. Manager Ron Roenicke hinted that trades are still possible in September.For that to be true, Marcum would have had to clear waivers. Melvin declined to say whether Marcum had cleared, citing MLB rules. Outfielder Norichika Aoki missed a second straight start with a stiff neck, suffered in a collision with Nyjer Morgan at Wrigley Field on Thursday. "He's still a little sore, but he's fine," Roenicke said of Aoki. "He'll be able to pinch-hit tonight if we need him, which is encouraging. Hopefully we get him back in there [on Sunday]."